Joseph City & Jack Rabbit Trading Post on Route 66
Most of Interstate 40 covers up old route 66 pavements, but when the frontage road doesn’t exactly parallel the freeway, much of the time you can bet it’s old 66. Joseph city is one of those alignments, and I was looking foward to seeing Joseph City before it ended in Gravel and disappeared under the super slab of Interstate 40.
I had suspicions that joseph city was named after Joseph Smith, the founder of the mormon religion, and turns out I was right. I didn’t see a whole lot there that was interesting, other than on the far edge of town on the old route: Ella’s Frontier:
I’d never seen Ellas Frontier on any of my route 66 books, or at least I hadn’t noticed them. I’d love to know the story of when it was opened and when it closed. ANYTHING. A few web sites state that Ellas frontier was the first trading post on route 66, but that seems pretty unlikely to me. Who knows, I’ve been wrong before. Either way, it was a pretty cool old building. In the back next to the freeway it had what looked like cabins, and had an old Camping spot next door that looked somewhat newer, but still abandoned. Ellas is the kind of place that I’ll want to go back and take a closer look on my next trip. Theres definately stories in those walls. Please, if you know anything about this place, please post or email me.
From Ellas I doubled back and got onto the freeway to head down to the next exit to see the Jack Rabbit Trading post. I love the old signs and have been here once before. The place was clean, the owner friendly and the prices were great. Most people sell T-shirts for 20 bucks. He sells his for 10, and has a ton. He even sells Jack Rabbit Underwear. Awesome. It was good to see such an old road icon doing well. I’d read that it was gone, but I saw no signs of anything other than a trading post that was doing well.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post was started in 1949 by Jim Taylor and his wife. He leased the business for most of the years he had it. Cindy’s granddad, Glenn Blansett, leased the store in 1961 and then bought it in 1967. He was just getting out of the senate so we were lucky for that because he helped to get the access ramps off I-40. In 1969, Cindy’s parents, Phil and Pat Blansett bought the Jack Rabbit from Cindy’s granddad. They had the store for 26 years. Until Tony and Cindy bought it from them in 1995.
I bought a half pint of tennesee whisky from him for 3 bucks for later and headed down the road. It was noon. I had half the state to cross yet.